The Close Personal Protection Unit within the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, is one unit the public see always close to our power brokers but know little about them and the challenges they face as Close Protection Officers.
It’s because they are a class of their own, some have travelled extensively overseas with our political leaders, and protect leaders from other countries who travel to our shores on diplomatic trips.
WPC, Simarut Loe is one of the 5 females who is part of this elite unit. She comes from Munda, Western Province and spends most of her time nowadays close to the current Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.
The security issues faced today are so different from those 10 years ago, and the CPP officers are trained to protect our dignitaries in all high risk situations.
However this does not deter WPC Loe, who says, “I enjoy my job, but it was easier when I was single with no family and children – now there are the issues of when my children or husband are sick, I have to be there for them too”.
“The CPP is an operational unit so when you are called to work you have to go.”
And she says the traveling and hours is a challenge for her family.
It is common for people to not notice these officers in any gatherings. They are normally around because they are trained to remain in the back ground and notice everything going on around them. The key to the job is being able to be discrete and remain confidential about what they hear or see. These officers are some of the elite and highly trained officers who will soon be re-armed to carry out their duties.
The Close Protection Unit only opened its ranks to females about 10 years ago. And as the country develops further, more females will take an interest in this line of work within the RSIPF.